Optimism spreads for development project

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – Job creation is one of the most important issues facing our economy today but a new area development project could help to not only bring jobs to north Iowa but increase revenue as well.

To expand business in north Iowa, it’s all about location, location, location, and in Clear Lake they believe they’re just the spot.

While nothing is set in stone, Clear Lake city leaders, including Mayor Nelson Crabb, say they’re optimistic for a new development plan set to bring jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city.

“We all work together to see that economic development is a priority here. Why is it a priority? Three words, jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Mayor Crabb.

The Fortune 100 company will potentially be at a 39 acre development area just West of Titan Pro SCI, to house a 340,000 square foot warehouse.  The identity of the company has not been made public.

While it may not look like much now, the location seeks to provide more than 160 factory jobs and more than 350 jobs for the 18 months of construction.

“Generally, I think that these folks in this region recognize that these opportunities do not come along very often at all and we have a very real one in front of us right now,” said Brent Willett, with the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.

According to Mayor Crabb, it’s not just Clear Lake residents that should be enthusiastic about the change.

“We already know that many of the businesses in Clear Lake, if you look at where their employees live, it will go, one-third, one-third, one-third. One third Clear Lake where they live, one-third Mason City, one-third in the surrounding areas. So it’ll benefit this whole area,” said Mayor Crab.

“I can say at least for my office’s perspective we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of excitement and support. We’re of course working to temper that because we have a lot of steps to take between now and then,” said Willett.

City Administrator, Scott Flory says the development project offers a 15-year, 90 percent property tax rebate on new taxable valuation. Also the city will look to provide a 10-year forgivable loan to help with initial construction of the facility.

If an agreement is reached, this will make it only the 10th Fortune 100 company to have a corporate office in Iowa.

A public hearing will be held on the 17 at the Clear Lake City Council to discuss the potential 15 year agreement with the company at 6:30 pm.

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